Quadcopter Landing Skids

One of my quadcopters recently had a hard landing that broke its landing skids. The skids that came with the frame kit consisted of 5mm carbon rods with flimsy plastic joints, and the crash broke both. I decided to replace the skids with a more durable pair by replacing the carbon rods with aluminum and the plastic joints with sturdier 3D-printed ones.

Landing Skid Joint

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Snowy JHU Aerial Photos

These photos were taken at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Campus from a quadcopter the day after a snow storm.

MSE Library

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HTML5 Night Sky Viewer

For HopHacks last weekend, I wrote an HTML5 night sky viewer. Using D3.js and SunCalc, the 750 brightest stars are rendered using SVG and Javascript. One’s location can either be found using the HTML5 Geolocation API, or it can be entered manually. The keyboard is used to navigate, and mousing over a star will display some information about it. As it was written in a weekend, there may be bugs.

Here is the viewer:
http://www.mpetroff.net/files/nightsky/

The code is available on Github.

Night Sky

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Camp Workcoeman Website Redesign

I spent the last few weeks redesigning the Camp Workcoeman website. The site design is based on Bootstrap, without the jQuery components, and makes heavy use of SVGs. In addition, the header dynamically responds to the time of day—the sun’s out during the day, and the stars are out at night. Using SunCalc.js, it fairly accurately displays the sun and moon. Jekyll is used for templating and site generation.

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Perambulations and Town Lines

Although abolished a few decades ago, for much of Connecticut’s history colonial, then state law required that towns regularly perambulate their boundaries and establish and renew bounds on said boundaries under penalty of a fine. This was to be done every year at first, before being changed to every three years and then every five years during the 1800s, before being struck from the books. This timetable was not always followed, as I was only able to locate perambulations from 1812, 1849, 1860, and 1914 in the case of the New Hartford and Barkhamsted town line. Perambulations were more frequent in the case of the Winchester and Barkhamsted line, although I only located the 1885, 1900, and 1921 perambulations. I’ve typed both perambulations, making some minor formatting changes and spelling corrections. Here are the New Hartford / Barkhamsted perambulations and the Winchester / Barkhamsted perambulations. Continue reading

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